I have thought about why this has happened and I keep coming up to the same answer. I was just so focused on the task in front of me that I just blocked everything out. There were times on the bike and run where I was a bit emotional after seeing my family but I refocused and made sure I was concentrating on the task. Even as I crossed the finish line I thought I would have broken down and cried, but I didn’t. I was more happy to be done than anything, actually wishing that I had taken my time and soaked it all in.
So as I sit her a week after, I can say that my Ironman experience was an amazing one, but I kind of wish that I enjoyed it more. Granted I did enjoy the bike, trying to joke and converse briefly with the other competitors as we pounded our way through the wind and rain. When I got to the run, it was much lonelier than I expected. There wasn’t any conversation or joking, everyone (me included) was in survival mode and wanted to just finish. That last 100 meters, I wish I would have taken my time and found my family and truly shared the moment with them.
How I am Physically
- Monday - Sore but was busy running around getting my bike ready to be shipped, buying too much at the Ironman Store, packing for my flight home and then flying home.
- Tuesday - Back at work and really sore and tired. I only had 4.5 hours of sleep and I paid for it.
- Wednesday - My legs felt a lot better but I still wasn't right
- Thursday - The first day that I felt no pain. I played a round of golf, walked the course. I was sore afterwards.
- Friday - Felt fine wanted to go running but didn't have time.
- Saturday - Felt great, went out for an 18 minute run with my dog. I am excited to start training again, albeit on a lesser scale.
I am very happy with my performance, despite not meeting my “B” Goal of under 12 hours. Considering the variable conditions on the bike, I am OK with the 5:55:30. I think if the wind had stayed constant on the last loop of the bike I could have cut about ten minutes off of my bike time and saved a bit of energy in the process. Ideally that would have translated into a bit more strength on the run and a better run time. As for the swim, I would have liked to of been closer to 1:10:00, but I was just in a bad place and the water was really cold. To be honest, I was happy to of survived the swim and gotten out of the water feeling as fresh as I did. I am good with all of my splits and my overall result.
My Next Ironman
If you had asked me a week before the race if I would want to do one again in a year or two, deep down I would have said yes. I didn’t tell anyone this, I kept it to myself. Now a week later, I ask myself the same question and the answer is different and more complicated. Do I want to do another one? Yes, I do. Do I want to do it next year? No, I want to spend time doing the things I sacrificed over the past year. I want to dedicate myself more to my wife and children. I want to dedicate myself to work and to finding a new job. I want to go mountain biking, I want to play soccer, I want to play golf, I want to do all of the things I gave up in order to concentrate on Ironman training. I want to have fun and not be so tied to a training schedule.
So when will I do another Ironman? I think I will; I am a competitor and I really want to better my time. It might be in two years or it might be in ten years. I just don’t know right now. I want to be there for my family right now and for my daughters as they get more involved in sports and other activities, just as my parents were there for me when I was growing up. When I think the time is right I will talk it over with my wife and children and we will make the decision together.
My Ironman experience wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have such amazing support. My wife was more than fantastic, she made it all possible. My daughters were nothing short of spectacular with their hugs and kisses and never making me feel guilty about not being around. My parents were always inquiring about how I was feeling and telling me how proud they were of me. On race day I had a huge contingent of family there that gave me a boost when I needed it most. I will never underestimate the influence that my family and friends had on my Ironman journey. I am very lucky.